Lismore City Council has developed a range of colourful reusable coffee cups for its staff and the broader community in a bid to reduce waste and eliminate the ubiquitous takeaway cup.
It’s an extension of the council’s plan to introduce reusable coffee cups and water bottles at all council facilities in a bid to reduce the huge amount of these items polluting the environment.
The eouncil now produced has its own reusable cup range in 12 vibrant colour combinations – sporting the slogan ‘Choose to Reuse’ – and a line of water bottles is in the, er, pipeline.
The cups are provided free to all council staff members and are on sale to the general public for $15 at the Lismore Revolve Shop and at the Save ‘n’ Waste Store in Shopbaby at 126 Woodlark Street, Lismore.
The council is also encouraging cafes and coffee shops to get with the program. They can order their own Choose to Reuse range. Council will provide the artwork free and businesses can entice customers by offering a discount for those who bring their own cup.
‘Imagine if every café and coffee shop got involved and Lismore became a takeaway cup free city,’ Lismore GM Gary Murphy said.
‘Lismore is at the forefront of so many sustainability initiatives, and this is another very simple and practical thing our businesses and residents can do to make a real difference.’
The northern rivers is one of the few areas in Australia where coffee cups are recycled rather than sent to landfill, but the system is not 100 per cent perfect. The cups are processed and the paper and the plastic coating are separated. The paper pulp that makes up 95 per cent of the cup is recycled and turned into new paper products while the small percentage that makes up the coating is waste.
Northern rivers councils are also unique in that they recycle polystyrene and soft plastics, which is not commonplace in most council areas.
‘A lot of manufacturers are now using a plant-based product to replace the plastic coating in takeaway cups, but change is slow,’ Mr Murphy said.
‘While Lismore recycles the bulk of these takeaway coffee cups, it is not a get out of jail free card. The water and energy used to make the cups is still creating a major environmental problem worldwide. There is no substitute for reusable cups and bottles.
‘We urge businesses to come on board and we implore residents to purchase a reusable cup and make a commitment to say no to takeaway coffee cups and plastic water bottles. We urge everyone in Lismore to choose to reuse.’
According to the manufacturer of the council’s new reusable cups, every minute over one million disposable cups are discarded.
Each cup breaks even after 15 uses so, if you drink two cups of coffee a day, that’s just one and a half weeks.